Open letter to Angel Di Maria from a Manchester United fan after PSG switch
Dear El Fideo,
On 26 August 2014, Manchester United fans couldn’t believe their eyes. The club had pulled off a spectacular coup by signing the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final’s Man of the match and a World Cup star. The widely ridiculed Ed Woodward had broken the British transfer record to get you for a fee of £59.7 million from Real Madrid.
You inherited the famed Number 7 jersey. Your start at Old Trafford with a stunning goal vs QPR and that wondrous chipped goal at Leicester excited us all. We believed that we had finally signed the successor to Cristiano Ronaldo. We believed.
Less than a year later, you have completed your long impending transfer to Paris Saint-Germain. You arrived in Qatar (where PSG’s owners reside) wearing a T-shirt that read 'BALR', slang for ‘footballer’. But, in your case, it could stand for 'bailer'. Since then, the social media brigade has jumped onto you, vitriolic at times. One of the trolls featured a snake undergoing a medical while another was that of a chicken.
You also attempted to mend fences with us by writing an open letter to us, but did you really write that? Next time, please tell your PR Guys who did write it not to consider us, the fans, as naive and maybe handle the transfer situation a little better. The way it was handled over the past month has made us fans angry.
While you didn’t have the greatest of seasons at Old Trafford, you scored some amazing goals and made some key assists too (4 goals and 11 assists). Who could forget that pass to Juan Mata for that volley at Anfield?
But the turning point in your short-lived Red Devils career came when the break-in happened at your house. We understood you were mentally affected by it, but you are a professional. You couldn’t pass to a player 10 yards away after the incident. You also suffered a hamstring injury that saw you sidelined for quite a while.
And when you returned, the red card vs Arsenal in the FA Cup was probably the final nail in the coffin. The team started playing well after that game and you were being considered a liability on the field. When you did get a start in the last game of the season against Hull City, you suffered another knock and were hauled off early in the game.
That just summed up your season. Disappointing! But we, the fans, still believed in you. We always believe, that is our motto!
Now you might ask, where exactly did you lose our support? During the Copa America, you said that your first seasons at each of your clubs in the past weren’t that great. But it was in subsequent seasons that you worked hard and succeeded there. And you also said you wanted to come back and do the same at Manchester United.
What happened next? Surprise, surprise. You were off to the Parc des Princes. In hindsight, we should have expected that. Throughout last season, numerous reports suggested that you would have gone to PSG if not for the Financial Fair Play sanctions. United was always the second choice from the start. We were naive not to expect your move to PSG to go through.
Radamel Falcao, however hapless he was in front of goal, will most certainly earn a great reception when he comes to Old Trafford on 28 December. He wanted to stay at United, he wanted to succeed here and football fans love a player who tries his best. His willingness to work hard, chase after the football would still have the Stretford End chant out ‘Lo Lo Lo Lo, Radamel Falcao!’.
He drew quite a few comparisons with Diego Forlan, who still enjoys a cult-like status at Old Trafford. Who can forget his strike at Anfield? Sadly, the same can never be said about you. You didn’t want to work hard here, didn’t try to pick up the language the whole year and quickly shifted base to Paris when you couldn’t adapt to British football.
Should you return to M16 with PSG in the Champions League, then you can certainly expect to be treated as the pantomime villain, a la Carlos Tevez. Our very own ‘El Infidelio’ might not be as vilified as Tevez, but your conduct whilst a United player was arguably worse. You didn’t even respect the #7 jersey.
Like Forlan and Falcao, Carlitos was a player who tried and his effort masked his enterprise in his final season. Tevez was so popular that even Sir Alex Ferguson was booed by the Old Trafford faithful for substituting him on his last appearance for the club. On his exit, Tevez waved farewell to his adoring supporters, like Falcao did after him. Although he did join Manchester City and even held a placard that read ‘RIP Fergie’, there is no animosity anymore.
During your transfer saga, Louis van Gaal has been blamed by many of our fans and rivals because of a player who was simply not keen on working hard to adapt to the league, to the country and to the fans. In reality, you were just BALR – 'Being A Little Rat'.
One of the fans who sang your name